Days before salvage workers attempt the historic task of refloating the Costa Concordia, newly released video has revealed the ghostly world — frozen in time — deep inside the cruise ship.
Italian police divers entering the 950-foot vessel, which wrecked on the rocky coast of theisland of Giglio in 2012, have captured footage of shredded metal work, eerie staircases, shops and corridors, as well as drifting possessions and furniture.
As the video ends, a diver from the Carabinieri, Italy’s national military police, emerges from the murky water to find himself inside the huge central atrium of the ship, which sits above the waterline. Above him, lift shafts climb toward sunlight and murals coat the walls.
The video is a snapshot of the panicked last moments of the Costa Concordia as 4,200 passengers and crew fled and 32 drowned while the holed ship lay on its side on shallow rocks.
On Monday, salvage crews plan to float the ship, initially by just a few feet to check that the punctured hull does not shatter and spill the debris inside.
If all goes well, the ship will be floated off the platform into deeper water to allow chains to be fastened under the ship to make it sturdier.
Next, the Costa Concordia slowly will be raised 40 feet, using 30 large metal flotation tanks that have been fixed to the side of the ship and can be pumped full of air.
As the ship is raised, workers will clear debris that emerges above the waterline, deck by deck. Then nets will be fixed around the ship to stop any further debris from falling out as the ship is towed off, which is expected to occur about July 20, according to a report by Britain’s The Telegraph newspaper, which posted the full 8-minute audio-less video.